In a significant move towards sustainable development, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The focus of this collaboration is to support Indian Railways in achieving ‘net zero carbon emission’ by the ambitious target year of 2030.
Signing of the MoU
The MoU, originally signed in June of the preceding year, was a momentous occasion featuring Naveen Gulati, a distinguished Railway Board member, and Isabel Coleman, the deputy administrator of USAID. The collaboration envisions a comprehensive framework for bolstering sustainability within the Indian Railways system.
Objectives of the MoU
The primary objectives of this strategic alliance are to facilitate utility modernization, deploy advanced energy solutions and systems, foster regional energy and market integration, encourage private sector participation and engagement, and conduct training sessions and workshops. The focus of these initiatives will be on specific technology areas such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Reducing Dependence on Imported Fuels
An essential aspect of the MoU is to assist Indian Railways in reducing their reliance on imported fuels like diesel and coal. Instead, the collaborative effort seeks to develop a robust energy efficiency policy, aligning with global sustainable practices.
Long-Term Energy Planning
The MoU also addresses matters related to long-term energy planning, aiming to guide Indian Railways in adopting cleaner energy methods. It emphasizes providing technical support, planning for clean energy procurement, and charting a course for a sustainable and efficient future.
To ensure the success of the MoU, both parties commit to collaborative initiatives such as hosting events, conferences, and capacity-building programs. These activities will serve as platforms for knowledge sharing, fostering innovation, and promoting the exchange of ideas on clean energy technologies.
Role of USAID/India
USAID/India, known for its role in supporting international development, will play a pivotal role in assisting India in economic growth, agriculture, trade, clean energy, global health, democracy, humanitarian aid, climate change issues, and conflict management.
Duration and Scope
The MoU is set to be effective for the next five years, culminating at the end of the South Asia Regional Energy Partnership (SAREP). This extended duration underscores the commitment of both nations towards achieving sustainable and carbon-neutral railway operations.
Important Questions Related to Exams
1. Who signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of India?
a) Narendra Modi
b) Naveen Gulati
c) Isabel Coleman
2. How long is the MoU effective between India and USAID?
a) 2 years
b) 5 years
c) 10 years
3. What is the target year for Indian Railways to achieve ‘net zero carbon emission’?
Kindly share your responses in the comment section.